Australia has revoked the citizenship of five people who traveled to Iraq and Syria to join Islamic State, bringing the total number of people stripped of their citizenship to six, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said.
“I can confirm that five more individuals have ceased to be Australian citizens because of their involvement with Islamic State offshore,” Dutton said in a Thursday, August 9 press release.
A 2015 law allows Australia to revoke the citizenship of dual nationals “for actions contrary to their allegiance to Australia.” Changes to the Australian Citizenship Act passed that year automatically revoke a person’s citizenship if they engage in terrorism-related conduct, including those who are in the service of a declared terrorist organization overseas.
“These five dual nationals have been acting against Australia’s interests by engaging with terrorism and have effectively chosen to leave the Australian community,” Dutton said.
Dutton did not identify the five people or specify when they traveled to ISIS-held territory or the nature of their involvement with the group.
Khaled Sharrouf, a dual citizen of Australia and Lebanon, had his Australian nationality revoked last year. He came to prominance in 2014 after posting a photograph of his son holding the severed head of a Syrian soldier.
An estimated 110 Australians were believed to be fighting with ISIS before the fall of Raqqa last year, according to the Attorney General.
The U.S. and SDF have urged countries to take back their citizens, citing the challenges of detaining hundreds of foreign fighters and the financial resources needed to host their wives and children.